8 All Natural Ways to Sharpen your Focus
Memory, focus and mental sharpness are the unseen benefits that can improve our quality of life as we age. There is no shortage of studies showing the correlation between anti-inflammatory foods, adaptogens and nootropics helping to balance internal stress cycles and sharpen cognition. With the wealth of information available, It’s never been easier to make subtle tweaks to your lifestyle and diet that will keep your brain in tip-top shape.
1. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is closely linked to cognitive decline. By reducing foods and liquids that increase inflammation like alcohol, processed foods and fats and also increasing consumption of inflammation fighters such as tomato, turmeric, nuts, seeds and dark leafy greens you will get the blood pumping in the right direction.
2. Incorporate Healthy Fats and Superfoods
As Jefferson Airplane once said, “Feed your head” and while they might have been referring to a different “type” of mushroom, you can keep your brain performing at its best by incorporating superfoods and fungi into your diet. Look for foods that are rich in vitamin B, Omega-3 and antioxidants i.e: fruits, vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, and whole grains. When it comes to protein, opt for plant-based and fatty fish proteins vs. animal protein and healthy fats vs. saturated fats.
3. Avoid Sugar
Brain candy as it turns out, is actually an oxymoron, with excess sugar found to be closely linked to cognitive decline. A study of 4,000 + respondents found a correlation between higher intakes of sugary beverages, brain function decline and memory loss. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, consider using all-natural sweeteners like local honey, agave or maple syrup instead.
4. Add Cognition Enhancing Herbs to your routine
Consider incorporating the following herbs into your wellness routine. You can find most of these adaptogenic herbs (and more) in our 6 Super Tea Blends.
Yerba Mate: Commonly used to increase energy, mental focus, performance enhancement, and reduce inflammation.
Rhodiola: Naturally reduces cortisol production in stressful situations. Rhodiola combats mental fatigue caused by anxiety and stress, while increasing energy and mental focus.
Ginseng: Ginseng is known to enhance alertness and memory. Ginseng components are linked to lower oxidative stress and increased energy production in cells.
Rosemary: Protects the brain from neurodegeneration.
Ashwagandha: Improves restfulness when sleep quality is poor. When fatigue sets in, it works to boost energy and has been known to enhance memory by improving overall cognition.
Tulsi (Holy Basil): Helps the body cope with stress and fatigue while encouraging quality sleep.
Turmeric: Contains curcumin, a time-tested antioxidant used to treat inflammatory conditions as effectively, yet more safely than pharmaceutical steroidal anti-inflammatories. Turmeric also has the ability to boost brain function, help fight depression, support liver health, and aid digestion. This root protects against Alzheimer's effects while improving memory.
5. Go Green
Studies show that simply adding more vitamin K to your diet through rich leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards and mustard greens could help slow cognitive decline.
6. Enhance Sleep Quality
A well-rested brain is a well-functioning brain. Focus on building a better bed-time routine by limiting screen time, caffeine and sugar before bed and seek out herbs that help promote relaxation and balance your stress system. Your body will reward you in turn with a clearer head the next morning.
7. Train your Brain
8. Reduce Screen Time
Have you ever watched a movie while scrolling through your phone only to find out you barely remember a scene? You’re not alone. When watching movies or tv, put your phone in another room to reduce temptation to break focus. OR if you’re feeling committed to reducing your screen time, opt for a podcast or audiobook instead.
There you have our 8 tips to sharpen your focus naturally, let us know if any of these tips work for you in the comments.